French pair Garcia and Mladenovic win women’s doubles at French Open

French Girls Tennis

French Girls Tennis

French duo Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic won their first Grand Slam women’s doubles title on Sunday, giving the home crowd a victory to cheer ahead of the men’s final between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.

The fifth-seeded pair beat Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, the No. 7 seeds from Russia, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, who won the French Open in 2013.

Garcia and Mladenovic only teamed up this year with a target of playing at the Olympics but have now won four titles after Charleston, Stuttgart and Madrid.

The last French victors in women’s doubles in the clay-court major at Roland Garros were Gail Chanfreau and Françoise Durr, who won in 1970 and then defended their title the following year.

Other French women have won with non-French partners since then. Mary Pierce lifted the trophy with Swiss player Martina Hingis in 2000 and Gail Lovera teamed with Fiorella Bonicelli from Uruguay to win in 1976.

France hasn’t had much to cheer about of late in other competitions at Roland Garros, either. Nathalie Duchy was the last French winner in mixed doubles, paired with Andy Ram from Israel in 2007. The last full-French victorious mixed doubles pairing was Tatiana Golovin and Richard Gasquet in 2004.

Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin did win the men’s doubles in 2014, but they were the first French champions since Yannick Noah and Henri Leconte in 1984.

Noah was the last French man to win the single’s title, in 1983. Pierce was France’s last women’s singles champion, in 2000.

Mladenovic also won the junior title in girls’ singles in 2009.

That feat was matched on Sunday by Frenchman Geoffrey Blancaneaux, who won the junior title in the boys’ singles after saving three match points.

Blancaneaux defeated 11th-seeded Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada 1-6, 6-3, 8-6.